Hello, my name is Emily Robinson and I’m working on constructing a digital archive of art in the five boroughs that is in conversation with gentrification. Originally, the project intended to focus just on art in Brooklyn — however, this changed to include all five boroughs. It became clear after I started looking at the art other neighborhoods are producing is that the narratives of each of the artists are varied, but all incredibly interesting, and it seemed remiss to not include this variety in the archive.
In order to find material for the archive, I attended a film screening hosted by the Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination against Gentrification project, which creates lighted signs to hang on buildings. The event included the work of many community projects and activists, such as Derecho a Techo and Before it’s Gone, Take it Back. These community projects/programs focus mainly in Brooklyn.
I also scheduled a meeting with Kemi Illsenmi at the Laundromat Project, who helped direct me towards other artists to include in the archive. It was after this meeting that I decided the expand my project from just within Brooklyn to the other boroughs as well, as she directed me towards artists in Queens and Harlem.
One thing that I did not fully anticipate when embarking on this project was the fact that I need to gain photo permissions for each of the works I choose to include — which may end up being the hardest part, as it depends on other people to get back to me in a timely manner.
Finally, I’ve been working with my friend who is a computer science major in Courant to build the website. After our initial meetings in which she helped me figure out which system and hosting service we needed to use, I registered for an account and she is going to begin building the website this week.